Combining insights from the best published historical and religious studies scholarship, original research, and rich first-person perspective, this highly readable book offers a comprehensive yet concise introduction to the founder and central figure of the Islamic tradition: the prophet Muhammad. Narrating Muhammad's life story, teachings, and daily practices, and assessing how his legacy is received, interpreted, and applied around the world, Michael Muhammad Knight reveals how the prophet has become simultaneously one of the most beloved historical figures in the world and also one of the most contested, challenged, and disparaged.
Knight argues that there was never a singular Muslim vision of Muhammad but rather always multiple perspectives. While Muslims defend Muhammad's legacy against Islamophobic polemics, they also challenge each other regarding the proper authorities through which Muhammad's life and message become comprehensible and applicable in our world. Thinking across time and place, Knight argues that Muhammad is always contextual and contemporary.